To increase availability and accessibility of local foods, changes must be made to the current food infrastructure. Production and distribution can be targeted first to move this global food system to something more applicable to a local foods system. A local food system will most likely be very diverse and will require multiple innovations and changes at the same time; this can be illustrated by the “S Curve” that occurs with diffusion of innovation.Diagram helps visualize the distribution of mileage of the overall food system, but is not an accurate representation of total distance traveled.This system supports movement of materials from one location to another as it moves from one processing stage to another.Processing and preparation cites are often centralized in specific locations that are located close to production sites or offer low labor costs.Consumption is obviously closer to us in miles, as we move farther away from the consumer, food production becomes a greater slice of the food rectangle. Processing and preparation is a constant.
Value chain— “the process by which different parties in between the farmer and the consumer add value to the product.”Specialists at each step in the distribution process contribute their expertise to many farmers, brokers, manufacturers, and so on. For example, a farmer producing corn may be uncomfortable making deals with manufacturers who process the corn, but an agent specializes in facilitating this connection. It is cost effective for a farmer to hire an agent to sell their product to manufacturers, and profitable for agents to offer their services to many farmers.
Industry group:Identifies the value added from food supply chain industry groups to the food dollar (the contribution of each group to the final food product).Portion going to the energy industry increased 75% since 1998.
Marketing bill:Identifies the distribution of the food dollar between farm and marketing shares.Marketing share increased 4¢ since last report in 2006
Our food system uses a lot of energy. In fact, the amount of energy we put into our food system (includes growing, harvesting, transporting, processing, selling, storing and preparing food) far exceeds the amount of energy we actually get out of the system to sustain our bodies1. Food miles are just part of the equation to consider. Some say we also need to think about how the food is grown. For example, raising and shipping lambs from New Zealand that graze on grass full of healthy clover actually requires less total energy than lambs raised in the United States and fed grains (which require a lot of energy to grow, harvest, and ship) 2. What other ways we can conserve energy in the food system? (Potential answers: grow crops that require less energy input, have our own gardens, consume less processed foods, eat a variety of foods, eat regionally grown foods, eat foods in season, have energy-efficient appliances in our homes and restaurants.)
Population of MN 2010:5,303,925 (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/27000.html)The Red River Valley Healthy DietDecrease consumptionred meatdairyadded fats and sugarsIncrease consumption nuts and seedsLegumesfruitsvegetables
Regional Food Hubs provide an integrated approach with many potential benefits, including:Expanded market opportunities for agricultural producersJob creation in rural areasIncreased access of fresh healthy foods for consumers, with strong potentials to reach underserved areas and food desertsThe ‘Missing Middle’ of the Local Food Infrastructure? 2008 study from Cardiff University
Getting to Know the Food System - Abby Gold
GETTING TO KNOWTHE FOOD SYSTEMAn Overview of Food Production and DistributionAbby Gold, PhD, MPH, RDNutrition and Wellness Specialist/Assistant ProfessorUniversity of Minnesota ExtensionNorth Dakota State University Extension Service
Local Food System vs. Global Food System Margaret Adamek • Achieve a local food system • Global food system • Increase diversity • One-sided • Multiple, simultaneous • Undiversified innovations • Based on • Target production and web/networking distribution
Distribution Farmer-to-consumer • Simplest form • Fresher products • Possibly lower prices • More profit for farmers • Inconvenient Farmer-wholesaler-retail- consumer • Increase convenience • Value chain • Different parties between farmer and consumer addLars Perner value to the product
Energy Flow in the U.S. Food System Center for Sustainable Food Systems
Minnesota Agriculture Data obtained from the USDA, National Agriculture Statistics Service
Red River Valley Food Assessment By adjusting eating patterns to resemble the Red River Valley Health Diet, this region would have enough land to grow all the food needed to feed its own population (491,999 people) plus enough land to export throughout the region. David Abasz
Regional Food Hubs (USDA)• Definitions vary from narrow market efficiency functions to those related to visions of building a diversified food cultureWorking Definition• A centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing of locally/regionally produced food products.
Core Components of Food Hubs1) Aggregation/Distribution-WholesaleDrop off point for multiple farmers and a pick up point for distribution firmsand customers that want to buy source-verified local and regional food2) Active CoordinationHub business management team that actively coordinates supply chainlogistics , including seeking market for producers, and coordinating effortswith distributors, processors, and buyers.3) Permanent FacilitiesProvide the space and equipment for food to be stored, lightly processed,packed, palletized and possibly even sold under a Hub’s regional labelOther Possible Services: Provide wholesale and retail vending space,offer space for health and social service programs, community kitchens,community meetings, etc.
Links• Globalized Food System Map http://www.ediblesadvocatealliance.org/sustainable-learning-journey- blog/bid/44295/Understanding-the-Global-Food-System• Distribution Channels http://www.consumerpsychologist.com/food_marketing.html• A Revised and Expanded Food Dollar Series, A Better Understanding of Our Food Costs. http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/ERR114/• Center for Sustainable Food Systems http://css.snre.umich.edu/css_doc/CSS01-06.pdf
Food Production and Distribution QuestionsHow do you see the current food system impacting foodaccess in your community?Where are opportunities that would result in improvedaccess in food systems and distribution?